I’m back with my getting to know Rhonda McKnight, your host here on Urban Christian Fiction Today. Here’s the answer to the second most frequently asked question: What were my favorite books in 2008 and who are my favorite authors?
I read a lot. Not as much as I’d like to, because I have to write. Honestly, reading is a whole lot more fun than writing and certainly more relaxing, but we do what we must. I kind of avoided saying who my favorites were on this blog, because I’ve built such great relationships with the authors I promote that it seemed unfair to push one over another. Although in looking back, you can clearly see that some folks names pop up more often than others. So I’ve decided to go ahead tell you who I enjoy the most and what my favorites have been. To be classified as a favorite author I have to have read at least three of your books, otherwise it would just be a favorite book, not author, right. I read broadly and not just in Christian Fiction. In fact I’d say I probably read outside of Christian Fiction about 50% of the time. But we’ll just talk African-American Christian Fiction here since this is Urban Christian Fiction Today.
My favorite author in the whole world is Victoria Christopher Murray and I love all of her books. My favorite is always whatever book she has recently released. At this time that would be Too Little, Too Late and her teen book India (which I couldn’t put down). Victoria has the ability to take a bad situation, and make it a whole lot worse. She turns up the tension on every page. How she keeps doing this better and better, book after book after book, I don’t know. I only pray I’ll be half the artist one day.
My second favorites are Sherri Lewis and Tia McCollors. Not just because they’re great writers, but they’re great friends. These two ladies have taught me so much about the craft of writing. Of their books, Dance into Destiny by Sherri Lewis is my favorite. Although I have to admit, Sherri’s upcoming release The List is going to be a favorite of everyone’s this year. Guaranteed. Tia’s A Heart of Devotion is a classic. I love her other two books, but A Heart of Devotion really spoke to me and taught me some things that God wanted me to know, and those lessons resonate with me daily.
Stacy Hawkins Adams and Marilynn Griffith, who I’ve met a few times and gotten to know through email are really two of the most gifted CF authors writing today. These ladies have awesome writing ministries and both are pretty prolific. Of their books, I have to say The Someday List by Stacy really got me thinking about a lot of things. One being how similar some aspect of our stories are! But in a good way. Just means God has a message he wants to be heard. Marilynn has soooooooo many books. Lawd! More books than she has children and she has a lot of them, too. So I can’t pick one on Marilynn. I loved Rhythms of Grace and Happily Even After.
Now for the others, I won’t list their books, but suffice to say when they have something come out, I read it, because I know it’s going to be really good: Jacquelin Thomas, Tiffany L. Warren, Angela Benson, Reshonda Tate Billingsley, and Stephanie Perry Moore.
Others I didn’t list Michelle Larks, Sharon Oliver, Monique Miller, Pat Simmons, Shana Burton, Michelle Stimpson – I had the 3 book minimum (Women's Fiction) so that excluded you, but watch out for these ladies, they’re doing their thing.
Now drum roll for my choice of the author of the year. Claudia Mair Burney. Best writer I’ve read in ever and a great story teller. The Library Journal agrees and named her novel, Wounded one of the Best for 2008. Tremendous honor. I haven’t read Wounded, but her Amanda Bell Brown series, Zora and Nicky and The Exorsistah were all outstanding. Zora and Nicky in particular had me laughing out loud on every page. She's sooooooooo talented.
So tell me about your favorites and why?
Stay tuned for my final installment of getting to know Rhonda McKnight on Friday… and thanks for stopping by.